As the investigation closes in on the bribery case that has rocked Japan’s casino plans, sources including those familiar with the matter have said that the company executive who bribed Akimoto had sought funds from the head office.
On Monday, the Japan Times reports via unconfirmed sources that a Chinese company executive who allegedly bribed lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto over a plan to open a casino resort in Japan had told his head office in Shenzhen, China, that he would “need funds for bribery.”
It is also reported that the Chinese gambling operator 500.com that is said to have bribed the ruling party lawmaker had the record of the bribe money.
According to the investigating authorities, the Chinese gambling operator approached Akimoto and provided him with funds (Bribes) several times as it sought benefits during the licensing process of integrated resorts. Akimoto was the state minister in charge of the government’s plan to launch casinos in the country.
Last week, investigators raided Akimoto’s office following which he was arrested on suspicion of accepting ¥3.7 million in bribes.
Following Akimoto’s arrest, the investigating authorities raided a Pachinko operator. While the government has alienated itself from Akimoto, it has said that it remains resolute in its plans to launch three casinos as a part of the first phase of Japan’s casino expansion plans.
Akimoto, who has said that he had known the people detained in the raids that followed after his arrest, has categorically denied taking bribes from the Chinese gambling firm.
The Japan Times reports that the three other people under arrest, include Masahiko Konno, 48, and Katsunori Nakazato, 47. The duo is advisers for 500.com and has reportedly provided prosecutors with details about the September 2017 meeting with Akimoto.